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brucets

Well, I said I wouldn't, but I did buy a new system...

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Here are the specs:* eVGA 132-CK-NF78 780i SLI Motherboard (Supports three-way SLI and 45nm Intel Processors)* Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 STEPPING Processor Overclocked at 3.6Ghz(with the best vertical pipe aftermarket cooling)* GeForce 8800ULTRA 768MB Graphic card(SLI Ready)* 4GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2 1000 SLI ready Memory made with Micron D9 chip* Western Digital Caviar 500GB HDD* Western Digital Raptor 150GB HDD* CoolerMaster Real Power 850W Power Supply The pc is not online and at present FSX sits on the 500GB Caviar drive all by itself.The OS and little else is on the Raptor. At present FSX plays pretty well.The concensus seemed to have been that FSX runs better on it's own drive seperat from the OS. Now I read (from Sam/D17, I think) that FSX should really be on the same drive as the OS!??? Which is it??Also, I run FSX XPPro w/SP2(no Acceleration). Do I need the 3GB switch??? I've read several threads including the OOM explained in comprehensible English, but am somewhat confused(easily done)!!Oh yea, I just came back from the liquor store----trying to work up enough nerve to go thru Nick N's XP tune program!:)Thanks----Bruce

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Nice system.I'm not sure which config is best, regarding where to put FS and the OSI personally put FSX and Win XP Pro on the same physical drive - I don't have any partitions. My theory is that FSX needs access to the XP folder for various files.Some people think it's faster to put them on separate drives. I haven't seen any benchmarks providing proof that one is better than the other.

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Well, maybe I'll put FSX on the Raptor with the OS and see if it makes much difference.Thanks for the reply!Bruce

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>Well, maybe I'll put FSX on the Raptor with the OS and see if>it makes much difference.>>Thanks for the reply!>>BruceBruce,I just tried that theory to see if the onboard Intel RAID controller on my motherboard was putting enough work on my CPU to see a difference in frame rates with FSX. I first set up four WD Raptor drives in two RAID 0 configurations with a dual boot config using Vista 64/SP1 and XP/SP3. The second time I set up the drives so that FSX was on one drive and the operating systems were on another. I did not notice any performance differences or scenery loading differences between the two configurations. With the RAID 0 setup FSX along with a few other games/sims did load faster, but that was about it. I don

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It does not matter which drive FS resides in a multi drive system. Positioning the FS directory onto outer edge of the HD is what matters. Modern defraggers can position any directory anywhere a user wants it. For instance, if FS is on a boot/OS drive, defrag it to the outer edge with a modern defragger. If FS is on a data only drive, defrag it to the outer edge with a modern defragger. If the drives are identical, the performance will be identical. It simply will not matter.Now on to dissimilar drives: I see you spent some bucks on that raptor. If it's not the new Velocity Raptor, see if you can send it back. If it IS the new Vraptor, let's experiment. FS is on the 500G/7200 RPM drive now. Get Ultimate defrag (or equivalent) and defrag FSX to the outer edge of the drive. That IS a prerequisite for optimal performance. The performance gain will be limited to FSX initial game-load and initial flight-load times. Any modern drive will provide identical in-game performance. After a fresh boot, time an initial FSX game-load, Now pick a couple of missions and time their initial flight-load times too. Reloaded game-loads and reloaded flight-loads will occur in ~ 10 secs. That's normal for any system. Make notes of initial game-load and flight-load times and your FSX settings. Now reinstall FSX to the raptor (that was your intention, right?) and try this drill again. Report back. If you can possibly get Vista 64, use that. OOM are chronic with the 32bit systems and its only going to get worse with that big 768V-ram'd Vcard of yours. (This is really going to be fun when that gig-O-bited GTX 280 shows up)So the Q ran right on up with on that 780 board? Nice.

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Sam -I don't think the Raptor is the version you are talking about. I've attached a picture.I added this drive to the advertised system. Based on what I read in your posts, I also asked the builder to clock the cpu at 3.6, which he apparently was able to do. The link shows all system components.http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Quad-Core-3-2Ghz...1QQcmdZViewItemI have O&O defrag 8.6 as per Nick's recommendation, but I don't know how to position files to the outer edge of the drive yet. I haven't seen that option so far. This is all brand new and I'm not a real savy computer guy.Thanks all for for the replies.Bruce

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2 drive solution presents more than just defrag advantages and regardless of what you read it is an overall better way to work with a MSFS installThe 2nd option of everything on one drive is OK but I would use as the fallback plan, not the primary and never partition the drives no matter what layout you may use.That list I posted is not that hard... its very simple and the only thing that takes any time is the defrag process if it is done correctly. In a multi-drive situation both drives must be defragged the same way as posted in the list and never back-to-back without a reboot between passes. And, -everything- is installed and set up before the defrag process begins.As for the argument that FSX needs to be on the same drive as the OS due to folder calls,.. thats not true and I know who started that one back with FS9... and it was not true for FS9 either anymore than the reg tweak Win32PrioritySeparation = 26 is a real tweak that does anything at all when changing it from 2.Motherboard RAID is a complete waste and snakeoil to the masses mainly because of what the GP would use RAID0 for. In use for a A/V editing system it can present an advantage and even with FS9 there can be some advantages however FSX presents changes to the file system which do not work well or present an advantage on motherboard RAID solutions at all. Although an expensive venture dedicated PCIe or PCIx RAID on the right card has its advantages and they become apparent very quickly and I use it as well. I am not going to into advanced technical ramblings about how and why things work or do not. All that will do is confuse people, give others a headache and allow a dance around the dictionary to take place which accomplishes nothing but show everyone how to use 10 pound words and terminology to make a point about how smart one might be. It does not help anyone secure their goals. You have my opinions and my list/posts... its up to you what you wish to use.I posted all the information in a simplistic format so anyone can follow along and be successful in accomplishing their goal.You will find a reference to just about everything you may wish to know through the link list in this post...http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...46461&mode=fullHow to setup the 3GB switch is included and it is needed... and, regardless of what you read Windows will use the memory even if the 32bit OS does not see all 4GB in readout. That switch is about address space, not PM.. but it does allow access to the PM. 4GB is the max in a 32bit OS.The only two areas that can be difficult are cleaning out the startup system so you only boot what is needed. With XP a good tech can get that down to 30 running processes at boot or less and you don

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>use for a A/V editing system it can present an advantage and>even with FS9 there can be some advantages however FSX>presents changes to the file system which do not work well or>present an advantage on motherboard RAID solutions at all.>Although an expensive venture dedicated PCIe or PCIx RAID on>the right card has its advantages and they become apparent>very quickly and I use it as well. My back to back comparisons with and without RAID 0 on my Vista 64/Raptor setup using the on-board Intel ICH9 controller did not show any negative effects on FSX performance. I

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Make sure you set that card up rightDisable Q'ing and any/all security features like journaling, etcI would not go with the Areca. the 3Ware 9650SE-4LPML is cheaper and offers better specs however it is a 4 lane unit and not an 8. 3Ware also has much better support. I have set a few people around here up on the 3Ware and you wont hear any complaints.I did not say you would see negative in every situation. What I said was the same or worse performace. And regardless, you are removing CPU cycles with MB RAID althout the 65biot OS will help a bit in that overhead as compared to 32.The point is, its a waste of drives to use, performance loss or equal result.And what I posted about RAID card use is not about frames.. its about scenery loads and no disk releated stutters. With systems that use a professional solution, higher scenery loads do not influence the system so smoother flight on higher slider is the primary advantage.

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>I would not go with the Areca. the 3Ware 9650SE-4LPML is>cheaper and offers better specs however it is a 4 lane unit>and not an 8. 3Ware also has much better support. I have set a>few people around here up on the 3Ware and you wont hear any>complaints.>>>I did not say you would see negative in every situation. What>I said was the same or worse performace. And regardless, you>are removing CPU cycles with MB RAID althout the 65biot OS>will help a bit in that overhead as compared to 32.>>The point is, its a waste of drives to use, performance loss>or equal result.>>And what I posted about RAID card use is not about frames..>its about scenery loads and no disk releated stutters. With>systems that use a professional solution, higher scenery loads>do not influence the system so smoother flight on higher>slider is the primary advantage. >>>>I

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You are correct that there can be chipset issues with PCIe cards and if you need the 8 lanes support the Areca is an option.As for who is better, I dont see where the Areca card is better than the 3ware however any of these card manufactures can make a gem or a dud.. sometimes its a matter of working with a few to find one that may work better for the features/compatibility.Adaptec is the largest and usually the one attacking 3Ware... both have their duds and gems. For the cost/performance ratio I find the 3Ware I posted a very good deal. If you need the 8 pipes then that would require a different solution and the expense with it.Game load is faster and always will be on such solutions however with FSX you will notice that during the first load there will always be a pause at 29-32% and one again around 80 if you have UTX installed and any of their night lighting features enabled. Those are areas where the bottleneck is the CPU and not the storage systemOtherwise you should see excellent results over the MB solution assuming the card is set up correctly and the STRIPE is 256K or higher.

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>Otherwise you should see excellent results over the MB>solution assuming the card is set up correctly and the STRIPE>is 256K or higher.>>>>Now that is one thing that I have not seen with any of the cards I

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Well then as I said the DDR2 533Mhz 3ware is the better choice because it does allow 256K which is one area you can not skimp on if you expect to see a better result. FSX file sizes dictate a larger stripe be setBetter SCSI RAID cards that can cost well over 1000 allow up to 512-2048 stripes

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>Well then as I said the DDR2 533Mhz 3ware is the better>choice because it does allow 256K which is one area you can>not skimp on if you expect to see a better result. FSX file>sizes dictate a larger stripe be set>>The only issue with the 256K stripe size is that other game/sims can suffer. From what I have read in the past 64K and lower is recommended for most games. I guess I could just stick FSX by itself on two dedicated Raptors in RAID 0 with the 256K stripe. It does seem like a lot of trouble for a game that no matter what, will always display subpar performance regardless of the hardware.

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First of all.. you must understand what STRIPE is used for (primary)A small STRIPE is for 'sequential access' applicationA large STRIPE is for 'random access' applicationWhat is FSX or any game?RANDOMSequential is where you have one massive file such as A/V or even a situation where all files are placed on the drive in correct recall order. Therefore for A/V you want a STRIPE of 2 or 4K MAXStorage performance is always better with 'sequential access' and it is not possible to place the files from applications such as FSX or any other game in 'perfect' sequential order, however, you can in fact get them to a 'partially sequential' order with MSFS.MSFS calls files based on sets. Those 'sets' are typically in alphanumerical order. If you use a defrag solution which places a NAME defrag on the files, you end up with a partially sequential file system. Next.. file size or chunks. this is the part where the fine tuning comes in. There can be a give and take in this area however if the game holds files which on average are small in size, ie; 256K like FS9, then the 128K STRIPE is typically the right choice. However FSX average file size jumps to greater than 512K, many being 1M average, therefore the larger STRIPE becomes more important and because you are set up as a partially sequential access, 256K works very well. Most 'games' are map-based.. meaning they do not load huge files like FSX and therefore a smaller STRIPE would probably be best for those. However some games do have massive file size loads and those will take much greater advantage of a 256K STRIPEWith a professional card and multi-port support you can set up 2-3 or 4 arrays (depending on the ports (4-8) and have them all set up differently for different games. Of course its expensive. If you wanna play, you gotta payI have a 72 Ferrari Dino I restore and show. If the dash clock stops working it costs me 3-4000 dollars to replace it with an original rebuilt unit.

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Thanks Nick----I've read Most of your posts and your XP guide several times. I need to dig thru your links again to find how to use O&O to get the right files on the outside of the disc and also the 3GB Switch as well(I may have found this one). I think I can stumble thru the XP set up. I am afraid to disable System Restore though. I'll get there eventually!Bruce

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I couldn't tell from the link. You can check it, though. Run HDtune (or HDtach). If you are seeing 70MB/s transfer rate, send it back! If you see a 100+MB/s transfer rate, that's the new one (I really expect you got sold the old one).If you still want to do the experiment, even the old one might help inform the conversation. Even the old style has a faster access rate. Access rate is supposed to be the FS holy grail and what argues to separate any Raptor from the rest of the pack. Technically, the argument makes sense, However, does it provide an even vaguely perceivable benefit? If so, how much . . . and if so, how much did it cost. Give it a try. That dual drive strategy is really just a housekeeping issue. If you keep your boot drive tidy 'n nice, there'll be no difference. If you defrag twice a year, do yourself a Big favor and install FS on that separate drive.

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HDTach is a waste for other than CPU use and a look at the accessWhat does the header at the top of the GUI say?SEQUENTIAL READ SPEEDA/V is sequential read... games/OS/applicatiions are not and never will beFSX and any other game is NOT a sequential read file system, therefore that test is flawed for anything other than baseline examination and the result can lead someone to assume things that are not trueSo that means a professional RAID solution on HDTach is no faster than a single large platter drive?http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/189262.jpgHogwashWhen the right test is set up which represents the file system in use, and, the data chunks being called, then the benchmark result reflects the true performance of the application its being applied to http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/189263.jpgThe best way to look at true storage system performance is by using I/O Meter, set up sessions to record throughput during several FSX flights and then break the result down correctly. Cheap and fast benchmarks are only as accurate as the users ability to undertsand what the benchmark is doing, read the result and understand what they are looking at, and, their ability to understand the application with the goal of optimizing the storage system for its use.EDIT: And notice what happens at 64-128K when testing the FSX array when ATTO is set to look at average file calls based on the file system in FSX.

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Oh my. What an energetic response . . . but I really only wanted to find out which raptor he had. Honest. Sorry, really didn't mean to aggravate. Big breath. Sometimes that helps.

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SamAlthough true the GUI will typically display the drive serial/model the point was you can not run HDTach and call a drive type from the sequential read result. Running that test on a large modern platter drive can display a higher result than a Raptor, even though the Raptor is actually faster in the application.break time

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Apologies to the OP. If you'd like to run that experiment, we'd all be interested. Mod?

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Sam -Well, it is ----- what it is, and it will stay where it is. I don't know enough to move parts around or replace them. I'll just have to make the best of this rig for 3-4 years and hope it will play FS11 decently for a year or more. I really enjoy reading your posts and Nick's as well; and this system is mostly based on what you guys, and others, have talked about. I'm sure lots of folks here have learned a great deal and we are very appreciative! I doubt I'll ever gain the knowledge and insight lots of AVSIM members have, but I have in deed learned a great deal from these forums! Thanks.Bruce

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However FSX average file size jumps to greater>than 512K, many being 1M average, therefore the larger STRIPE>becomes more important and because you are set up as a>partially sequential access, 256K works very well. >>Most 'games' are map-based.. meaning they do not load huge>files like FSX and therefore a smaller STRIPE would probably>be best for those. However some games do have massive file>size loads and those will take much greater advantage of a>256K STRIPE>Yes in theory the bigger stripe size would make sense with FSX, but going back and forth like I have with stripe sizes and FSX over the last two years from 8K up to 128K I did not see any difference in scenery loading. I have both O&O Defrag 8.5 and 10 and always use the

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